05 February 2013

The Goal on Which He Had Set His Heart

Scottish-born reformed theologian John Murray taught for many years at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. In the 1920s he was a seminary student at Princeton. For his final homiletics class he wrote a sermon on John 3:30--John the Baptist's words, 'He must increase, I must decrease.' Murray wrote:
We are not to think of these words as spoken in stoical, disappointed submission, but as the expression of a heart full of holy joy that the goal on which he had set his heart had now been actually achieved. His popularity, his increase at the expense of the honor of Christ, would have been his deepest sorrow. . . .

The desire for self-supremacy is an expression of the sin which above all others seeks to undermine the very purpose of the gospel and the gospel ministry, which is the restoration of the kingdom of God and the rule and supremacy of God alone in all spheres and departments of life. May God grant that we follow in the footsteps of John and imitate his self-effacement, self-abasement, self-renunciation, self-forgetfulness! 'God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world.'
--Iain H. Murray, The Life of John Murray (Banner of Truth, 1984), 2

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